DANIEL is a well-known Biblical character. The Book of Daniel, chapter I, dramatically tells the story of his rise from the position of captive slave in the royal palace to that of a trusted adviser to the king.
Some scholars believe that the book was written about 165 B.C. Others
believe that it was written earlier. Its purpose was to encourage
persecuted Jews in their desperate struggle against the oppression of
Antiochus IV, King of Syria from 176 to 164 B.C.
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, captured a group of people from
Jerusalem in 587 B.C., among them several young people of royal
descent. Daniel was one of these. The captives were well fed, but Daniel
refused to eat the food, which by Jewish law was impure. Instead he ate
a simple diet of cereal. This drew the king's notice. Daniel won favor
when he interpreted a dream that had puzzled the wise men. The king then
made Daniel ruler of Babylon.
The Bible also tells how Daniel foretold the madness of Nebuchadnezzar, how he remained safe when thrown into a den of lions, and how he tod Belshazzar the meaning of the mysterious handwriting on the wall.
The last part of the Book of Daniel tells of the eventual triumph of right and of truth, and predicts the destruction of evil.